The test of suffering
Since the children share in blood and Flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels
but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.
When you hear you have a test, it is usually the case that there is a little (or a lot) of anxiety that comes with knowing this. As a child, you probably took them in school. We can be subject to a medical test. There are instances where our job gives us a sort of test. Becoming certified or earning an academic degree often involves a test. And for some, it involves a lot of suffering too.
In today’s first reading we hear about how Jesus was tested in what he suffered. That Jesus is flesh and blood, as we are, and as Jesus shares in our suffering in every way we did makes our relationship with him to be one we are better able to understand, especially if we are going through difficult times or a difficult illness.
But there is more to this first reading than simply that Jesus understanding us. It is about the primary reason he wants us to understand, and the primary reason he came to earth. He wants us to know how much he wants us to be saved. Jesus says he does not want to lose even one person. That is in fact just how much it is that God wants to forgive our sins and to bring us into a relationship with Him.
By subjecting himself to the whole spectrum of human experience, Jesus shows us that in every way it is the case that he loves us. Even when we sin, he still loves us. (He hates the sin, but not the sinner.) The message today is that you are not past the love of God. And neither is anyone else. Console one another with this message.
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